Transgenic animal models in toxicology: historical perspectives and future outlook.
ABSTRACT Transgenic animal models are powerful tools for developing a more detailed understanding on the roles of specific genes in biological pathways and systems. Applications of these models have been made within the field of toxicology, most notably for the screening of mutagenic and carcinogenic potential and for the characterization of toxic mechanisms of action. It has long been a goal of research toxicologists to use the data from these models to refine hazard identification and characterization to better inform human health risk assessments. This review provides an overview on the applications of transgenic animal models in the assessment of mutagenicity and carcinogenicity, their use as reporter systems, and as tools for understanding the roles of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes and biological receptors in the etiology of chemical toxicity. Perspectives are also shared on the future outlook for these models in toxicology and risk assessment and how transgenic technologies are likely to be an integral tool for toxicity testing in the 21st century.
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ABSTRACT: Regulatory toxicology urgently needs applicable alternative test systems that reduce animal use, testing time, and cost. European regulation on cosmetic ingredients has already banned animal experimentation for hazard identification, and public awareness drives toward additional restrictions in other regulatory frameworks as well. In addition, scientific progress stimulates a more mechanistic approach of hazard identification. Nevertheless, the implementation of alternative methods is lagging far behind their development. In search for general bottlenecks for the implementation of alternative methods, this manuscript reviews the state of the art as to the development and implementation of 10 diverse test systems in various areas of toxicological hazard assessment. They vary widely in complexity and regulatory acceptance status. The assays are reviewed as to parameters assessed, biological system involved, standardization, interpretation of results, extrapolation to human hazard, position in testing strategies, and current regulatory acceptance status. Given the diversity of alternative methods in many aspects, no common bottlenecks could be identified that hamper implementation of individual alternative assays in general. However, specific issues for the regulatory acceptance and application were identified for each assay. Acceptance of one-in-one replacement of complex in vivo tests by relatively simple in vitro assays is not feasible. Rather, innovative approaches using test batteries are required together with metabolic information and in vitro to in vivo dose extrapolation to convincingly provide the same level of information of current in vivo tests. A mechanistically based alternative approach using the Adverse Outcome Pathway concept could stimulate further (regulatory) acceptance of non-animal tests.Critical Reviews in Toxicology 07/2014; · 6.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The translational capacity of data generated in preclinical toxicological studies is contingent upon several factors, including the appropriateness of the animal model. The primary objectives of this article are: (i) to analyze the natural history of acute and delayed signs and symptoms that develop following an acute exposure of humans to organophosphorus (OP) compounds, with an emphasis on nerve agents, (ii) to identify animal models of the clinical manifestations of human exposure to OPs, and (iii) to review the mechanisms that contribute to the immediate and delayed OP neurotoxicity. As discussed here, clinical manifestations of an acute exposure of humans to OP compounds can be faithfully reproduced in rodents and non-human primates. These manifestations include an acute cholinergic crisis in addition to signs of neurotoxicity that develop long after the OP exposure, particularly chronic neurological deficits consisting of anxiety-related behavior and cognitive deficits, structural brain damage, and increased slow electroencephalographic frequencies. Because guinea pigs and non-human primates, like humans, have low levels of circulating carboxylesterases-- the enzymes that metabolize and inactivate OP compounds-- they stand out as appropriate animal models for studies of OP intoxication. These are critical points for the development of safe and effective therapeutic interventions against OP poisoning because approval of such therapies by the Food and Drug Administration is likely to rely on the Animal Efficacy Rule, which allows exclusive use of animal data as evidence of the effectiveness of a drug against pathological conditions that cannot be ethically or feasibly tested in humans.Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 06/2014; · 3.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The proton-coupled oligopeptide transporter PEPT1 (SLC15A1) is abundantly expressed in the small intestine, but not colon, of mammals and found to mediate the uptake of di-/tri-peptides and peptide-like drugs from the intestinal lumen. However, species differences have been observed in both the expression (and localization) of PEPT1 and its substrate affinity. With this in mind, the objectives of this study were to develop a humanized PEPT1 mouse model (huPEPT1) and to characterize hPEPT1 expression and functional activity in the intestines. Thus, after generating huPEPT1 mice in animals previously nulled for mouse Pept1, phenotypic, PCR and immunoblot analyses were performed, along with in situ single-pass intestinal perfusion and in vivo oral pharmacokinetic studies with a model dipeptide, glycylsarcosine (GlySar). Overall, the huPEPT1 mice had normal survival rates, fertility, litter size, gender distribution and body weight. There was no obvious behavioral or pathological phenotype. The mRNA and protein profiles indicated that huPEPT1 mice had substantial PEPT1 expression in all regions of the small intestine (i.e., duodenum, jejunum and ileum) along with low but measurable expression in both proximal and distal segments of the colon. In agreement with PEPT1 expression, the in situ permeability of GlySar in huPEPT1 mice was similar to but lower than wildtype animals in small intestine, and greater than wildtype mice in colon. However, a species difference existed in the in situ transport kinetics of jejunal PEPT1, in which the maximal flux and Michaelis constant of GlySar were reduced 7-fold and 2- to 4-fold, respectively, in huPEPT1 compared to wildtype mice. Still, the in vivo function of intestinal PEPT1 appeared fully restored (compared to Pept1 knockout mice) as indicated by the nearly identical pharmacokinetics and plasma concentration-time profiles following a 5.0 nmol/g oral dose of GlySar to huPEPT1 and wildtype mice. This study reports, for the first time, the development and characterization of mice humanized for PEPT1. This novel transgenic huPEPT1 mouse model should prove useful in examining the role, relevance and regulation of PEPT1 in diet and disease, and in the drug discovery process.Molecular Pharmaceutics 08/2014; · 4.79 Impact Factor